Global Wellness Institute Research Team

Ophelia Yeung
Senior Research Fellow, GWI

Ophelia Yeung has more than two decades of experience leading research and consulting assignments for global business, governments, universities and nonprofit organizations, including 20+ years at SRI International and as the co-director for the Center for Science, Technology and Economic Development. Under the auspices of the Global Wellness Institute, Ms. Yeung has created new frameworks for defining the size and scope of the global wellness industry and its many sectors. She co-authored numerous GWI studies, including “Future of Wellness at Work 2016,” “Build Well to Live Well 2018,” “Global Wellness Economy Monitor 2018,””Move to be Well: The Global Economy of Physical Activity 2019,” and “Defining the Mental Wellness Economy 2020.” Ophelia co-led the GWI White Paper series: Resetting the World with Wellness in 2020. She has presented at major industry events, written for industry publications, and given interviews on these topics. Ophelia received a BA in Economics from Smith College and a Master in Public Affairs from Princeton University.


Katherine Johnston
Senior Research Fellow, GWI

Katherine Johnston has extensive experience conducting economic and industry competitiveness studies worldwide, including 17 years as a Senior Economist with SRI International. Since 2008, Katherine has pioneered ground-breaking research on the wellness economy, including the first-ever definition and measurement of wellness as a global industry that encompasses eleven component sectors (wellness communities/real estate, mental wellness, physical activity, workplace wellness, wellness tourism, spas, thermal/mineral springs, and others). These studies provide thought-leadership on the trends driving the future of wellness in the economy and their implications for the public and private sectors, along with rigorous data on the industry size and growth trajectory across 200 countries. GWI research has become the leading resource for wellness sector data and insights among media, industry, and governments. It is quoted widely in business, trade, and consumer media and has recently been featured by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Fast Company, Skift, National Public Radio, CNBC, and many other leading publications. Previously as a Senior Economist at SRI International, Katherine led dozens of studies on economic competitiveness, industry cluster and workforce development, economic development program evaluation, and economic impact analysis/modeling – both across the United States and in countries around the world. She holds a B.A. from Sweet Briar College in Virginia and an M.S. from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.


Tonia Callender
Research Fellow, GWI

Tonia Callender specializes in conducting economic and legal research and analysis. Tonia has advised private and public organizations worldwide to help to promote more equitable development. She has worked with government and community organizations in the DC Metro region to enhance public-private partnerships that help underserved populations, and she has designed and evaluated a wide range of public programs, ranging from micro-business development to substance abuse treatment. Currently, Tonia is focusing on mental health and wellness policy and practices to improve well-being across the lifespan. Previously, she worked with SRI International, consulting for a diverse range of international clients. Tonia received her B.A. in economics from Yale University, her Master’s in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and her law degree from the University of Virginia.


Joanne Hopkins
Research Fellow, GWI

Joanne Hopkins has over 20 years of experience conducting research and analysis on state and federal energy policy issues, with a primary focus on renewable energy and distributed energy resources. She has worked with electric utility leaders across the country to develop consensus on key regulatory and policy issues, led multi-disciplinary project teams and stakeholder groups, conducted analysis, evaluated policy positions, and authored papers on policy and regulatory developments. Joanne is now applying her research and analysis skills to the wellness industry. She is currently focused on research and analysis to support the development of the Global Wellness Economy Monitor. Joanne previously worked at the Edison Electric Institute and SRI International. She has a B.S. degree in Mathematics and Physics from Sweet Briar College, an MBA from George Mason University, and a M.S. in Energy Policy and Climate from Johns Hopkins University.

About the Global Wellness Institute: The Global Wellness Institute (GWI), a nonprofit 501(c)(3), is considered the leading global research and educational resource for the global wellness industry and is known for introducing major industry initiatives that bring together leaders to chart the future. Through its five pillars of wellness—research, initiatives, roundtables, Wellness Evidence and The Wellness Moonshot: A World Free of Preventable Disease—GWI positively impacts global health and wellness by educating public institutions, businesses and individuals on how they can work to prevent disease, reduce stress, and enhance the overall quality of life. Its mission is to empower wellness worldwide.